Netanyahu: Building the country, and the 'Nationality Law' is Israel's answer to Nakba Day


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bennett says Israel should not tolerate Israeli Arabs holding pro-Palestinian Nakba Day events.

Israel's two-fold answer to the Palestinians commemoration of Nakba Day is to continue building and developing the country, including Jerusalem, and to pass a Basic Law defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday.

Netanyahu's comments came soon after returning from a four-day visit to Japan, as he was touring a new sports complex under construction in Jerusalem.

"Not far from here, in the Palestinian Authority, they are commemorating what they call the Nakba Day," Netanyahu said. "They are standing silent to mark the tragedy of the establishment of Israel, the state of the Jewish people."

Netanyahu said that Palestinians were educating their children with "endless propaganda" calling for the disappearance of Israel.

"We have many answers to that," he said. "The first is that we continue to build our country, and our united capital of Jerusalem," he said.

"And we will also give an additional answer to 'The Nakba' – we will pass the nationality law that makes absolutely clear to the world that Israel is the state of the Jewish people."

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett spoke out on Thursdayagainst expressions of Palestinian nationalism within Israel, saying, "We need not tolerate Israeli Arabs who promote Nakba Day."

Bennett was quoted by Army Radio as saying, "I do not support any event or organization which promotes the establishment of a national Palestinian agenda in Israel."

"This will not be tolerated," said Bennett.

Bennett stressed that the government believes all of Israel's Arab citizens are entitled to full equality under Israeli law. However, he stated, those who promote Palestinian nationalism within the state will not be tolerated.

Hundreds of east Jerusalem residents held a Nakba Day rally at the capital's Damascus Gate on Thursday, lamenting the establishment of Israel as a catastrophe or "nakba" in Arabic.

On Wednesday night Palestinians marched with torches and held a candle light vigil in Ramallah, as well as preparing for further Nakba Day events on Thursday.

In Gaza the Palestinians organized a day to showcase their heritage in order to teach children about the traditional way of how their ancestors used to live in their land which they hope to return to someday.

"They (the Israelis) say that the old people die and the young will forget, on the contrary we teach our children even the unborn babies we teach them that their land was stolen by the Zionists," said Mnawar Abu Mousa refugee living in a refugee camp in Gaza.

"We do not forget our land and it does not matter how long it will take, we will return to our lands. We will return to our lands all the refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, all the Arab countries and everywhere they should have the right to return," said another refugee.